Talbot Street Lock In

Discussion in 'Talbot Street' started by Squiggs, 21st Mar 2020.

  1. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    Having The Sanctuary open for the first half of 2013 was such an amazing time. Here was one of the best scare attractions of all time, which was a pay attraction for most of its life, sitting walk-on all day every day. It felt like an extreme version, too, because most of the time there were only 3-6 people in a group.

    Part of me was actually genuinely disappointed when The Smiler opened. Sure, there was excitement, but it had a long long wait for months after it opened. The Sanctuary being (almost secretly) open had been an enthusiast's dream.
     
  2. Pleasure Beach Valhalla

    Pleasure Beach Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    The Smiler coaster itself is good though it can be a little rough on those final corkscrews, but it was disappointing to see only one massive theming structure and a zero themed queue line besides that. It's not my best at Towers but it probably is Top 5 in UK.
     
  3. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    The Sanctuary was a brilliant scare maze, absolutely great. But I'd call it hugely overrated by enthusiasts, who still pine for it every year and make out that Scarefest died when it closed.

    I feel like if the Sanctuary was made just as good now with a different name, most enthusiasts would still go around posting they miss the Sanctuary. It was probably all because of the hype around SW7 making The Sanctuary stand out to enthusiasts.

    Scarefest comes in waves I think, there've been some ups and downs since then but we've had some absolutely amazing ones since The Sanctuary and we've been pretty spoilt as far as themed mazes go.
     
  4. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    The Smiler may by the Ministry of Joy's premier marmilisation establishment but the facility could have been a lot more clinical if some of these alternative themes had come to pass.

    In these unused concepts for The Smiler, many elements of the final ride are recognisable but clearly at one time the park were considering a much more eerie aesthetic for the ride.
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    That almost looks like one of those asylum-themed horror mazes! I can’t imagine what that would have been like with The Smiler’s theme.

    Is it true that the park was originally considering a different theme entirely for The Smiler? I could have sworn I heard someone say somewhere that they were going to theme it to Halo, although I’m not sure whether they would have gone for that as it would have contrasted quite significantly with X-Sector. It would certainly make sense if the ride was originally intended to be themed differently, as the theming on the planning application looked somewhat darker in tone than what was built. Although then again, many things were different on the planning application, most notably that the ride only had 8 inversions!

    Another question; is it true that the ride was originally going to have a public plaza within the ride area itself, with the queue entrance being at the bottom of the pit, or did I imagine that?
     
  6. Ben

    Ben TS Founding Member

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    I think there was rumour of Halo being used for a ride in the Black Hole tent at some point, not sure it ever got extended to the Smiler but there were so many ride ideas, IPs and concepts floating around that there may have been some cross over.

    I don't remember a plaza on the plans but there was defiantly meant to be an observation platform, roughly where Black Holes entrance was, a little balcony jutted out. Never happened though which was a shame.
     
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  7. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Ah right; thanks for the clarification @Ben!

    Out of interest, weren’t the Black Hole entrance and The Smiler entrance roughly in the same place?
     
  8. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    In the original palns the plaza in the bottom of the pit was open to the public, but did not have the ride entrance down there though it did seem to have the priority entrances in it - in fact it looks like where the priority queues currently enter the queue building, that would have been part of that plaza.

    The entrance was originally a little further down the hill to the left of where the current entrance and access gate are. In the plans the entrance was roughly where the white lined area is in this photo:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 7th Jun 2020
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  9. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Ah right. Thanks for the clarification @Squiggs!

    Do we reckon other manufacturers pitched layouts for The Smiler, or would Gerstlauer have been chosen from the off?
     
  10. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    Very close - If you look at the Smiler Entrance today, the Blackhole entrance would be directly to the left of The Smiler entrance and the proposed Smiler balcony would have been directly to the right.
     
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  11. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Gerstlauer I think were always planned as the manufacturer because of the ride type suiting the small space and the much cheaper cost of their hardware.

    The Smiler layout I think was designed by Werner Stengel having been given the space and the brief from Alton Towers to fit 14 inversions?
     
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  12. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    The spotlight turned squarely onto the youngest members of the family in 2014, as all their favourite characters jumped from the small screen into reality in CBeebies Land.

    To celebrate the opening of their new land, the park produced a special Parent and Toddler Map, which pointed young families in the direction of areas and attractions that little guests might enjoy the most.
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    One of the big new additions in CBeebies Land was Big Fun Showtime, which took over the area once home to the park's Ice Rink. In the original plans, the outdoor arena had a slightly more stylised (and less purple) appearance than we saw on opening day.

    As seen in these Concept Models for the arena, the Knight's Challenge tournament tents originally had more prominence in the arena, and while the performance area was significantly larger it was missing the distinctive digital backdrop that provides much of the scenery for the shows.
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    I think originally there as a IP chosen for Smiler, but for what ever reason it pulled out or was dropped, the original planning documents had the whole station and theme as a much darker style, and much more like Saw.
     
  15. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

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    What was the IP?
     
  16. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    There were apparently rumours of the Halo game franchise, but it was pulled for whatever reason.
     
  17. AltonTowersNerd

    AltonTowersNerd TowersStreet Member

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    It was a sad sight to see Squirrel Nutty go and depart Alton Towers, it really changed forever it did. I’ll always remember that ride though however.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  18. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    We're heading back into the Gardens this Wednesday and also a taking a step back in time as we take you on a Garden Tour through the eyes of guests of yesteryear.

    If you're planning a trip to the park in the next few weeks then this tour will take you on an alternative route through the gardens complete with historic images to give you an insight into different periods in the park's history, dating as far back as 1871.
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    Rumour was always Halo, but I’ve also heard Batman in the past. Was never officially confirmed by the park.


    In terms of today’s post, it’s really interesting to see areas of the gardens so long ago, most photos you see are always the 80s when the park was open for guests. So it’s nice to see it when it was much newer. It’s certainly a lot more over grown now unfortunately.
     
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  20. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    The article mentions the railing of the prospect tower being removed during the war, I know a lot of railings in general were removed and melted down as metal was in short supply during the wars, I would assume this may be the case.
     

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